When I got to college, I kept hearing everyone talk about the importance of having a mentor. I didn’t really know what that meant, but it sounded good to me.
Toward the end of my sophomore year, I had become really good friends with a girl named Lindsey.* (Name changed for security reasons.) Lindsey led a community group at my church and I really admired her leadership abilities, her faith, and her boldness. She intimidated the heck out of me.
But I had kept hearing about the importance of a mentor, so I asked her if she would be my mentor for my junior year. She immediately said yes! I was so excited but also nervous because I knew she would push me in my faith in ways that felt uncomfortable.
I didn’t have any idea at the time how much I would look to her for wisdom during the craziness that ensued my junior year. I was leading 80 freshmen through their first semester of college, serving in a role on SGA, running a SGA campaign, and taking 18 hours a semester (which then proved to be a waste because my advisor messed up and I really had only needed 12-15 hours a semester that year but it’s fine, I’m fine. I’m not bitter). Anyway.
I needed someone to help keep me grounded during the chaos.
Well, I know what you’re thinking. I already had someone to ground me: Jesus. YAS! Sunday school answer that is always correct. That is 100% true, but having someone speak truth about the Lord over me weekly played a huge role in my faith. It wasn’t me just spending time with the Lord, it was also having someone pour into me that had a heart on fire for the Lord.
I was pouring out a lot that year too, and I was running on empty a lot of days. But every week I’d meet up with Lindsey at Au Bon Pain and eat some breakfast and talk about Jesus and how I could share with people and pour out all my dilemmas and issues with her.
Some days we wouldn’t even explicitly talk about Jesus, instead I would just word vomit all my issues on to her and she’d just listen. Sometimes that’s all we need is for someone to say nothing. And listen.
Fast forward to the summer after I graduate from Auburn. My church was doing a fast for a month (I gave up social media) and prayed for 5 things. One of those items on the list was a mentor in Nashville.
And then I got not just one mentor, but two!
Kate and Masi. Wise women that love the Lord. Both of them pretty much fell into my lap. It was as if the Lord was like, “Hey girl, I heard your prayers and I decided to give you double what you asked for! Have fun!”
And it’s been a gift. I don’t really know how to navigate being an adult in Nashville, but they do. They’ve been friends to me during this crazy season and pointed me to Jesus. With Kate, I’ve even had the opportunity to come to her place of work and volunteer with her team.
One day, I hope I’ll be able to tell the full significance of the moment when I was brought together with Kate as my mentor, but for now know this: Someone I love had been struggling with addiction. The week before had been hard. It’s difficult to watch a friend battle addiction.
Then, Belmont tells me I’ve been paired with a mentor. Kate. She works at The Next Door. It’s an addiction recovery facility for women. I had chills.
So, I go to meet Kate and she asks me about myself and my testimony and somehow I tell her about my friend. And I just sat in this woman’s office that I had known for 30 minutes and cried.
For 6 months, I’ve gotten to learn a whole lot about addiction. I’ve gotten to go and sit in on group discussions with clients and hear their stories about addiction. It doesn’t look like you think it would. But this is all a story for a different day and different blog.
My point is sometimes if we sit back long enough to let God move the chess pieces in our lives, we get to see the game is all His anyway and it doesn’t take much for Him to get to say the words “Checkmate.”
He will use people to bring us closer to Him. He will use us to bring others closer to Him. We will pour out, but we also need to be poured into.
An important part of that to me is a mentor. Someone a little bit older and wiser.
And having a mentor sounds like some intimidating, ominous idea. It can be whatever you make it. It’s as simple as someone whose wisdom and faith in the Lord you admire, so you want to get to know them better and learn from them. That easy.
He will give us people for seasons that show us more of Him and less of us. We have to be brave enough to step into that and know these people may teach us more about ourselves than we ever knew. Lindsey taught me a lot about who Jesus made me to be. Kate and Masi are teaching me a lot about who Jesus made me to be.
So, today I challenge you to think about someone you’d like to mentor you if you don’t already have a mentor. No one comes to mind? That’s okay. Pray about it. The Lord will place that person in your life, you only need to watch and listen.
I would love to hear the impact mentors have made in your life in the comments below or in the comments on Facebook / Instagram!
Thanks for reading, friend.